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    In my previous post, I noted that the oft-mentioned association between obesity and poor health and "early" death may be a function of the lower average IQ of obese people. I suggested that the true correlate of these things was in fact low IQ. And indeed, I've stumbled on additional studies that suggests that this...
  • […] IQ and Death Trans Fat Hysteria and the Mystery of Heart Disease […]

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  • Nostalgia seems to be very popular in Washington. While the neocons and Democratic Party hard-liners have succeeded in bringing back the Cold War with Russia, it looks like President Trump is determined to take us back to a replay of the Bay of Pigs!In Miami on Friday, the president announced that he was slamming the...
  • “Poor?” What exactly does Cuba produce to create foreign exchange that other countries might purchase? “Intervention?” I seem to recall large scale Cuban forces in Africa during the Cold War.

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  • @Tony
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NfqLYfsVSy8

    Yo Paulie, start at 2:30. Learn what its like for the average Cuban.

    Oh, I always look to Hollywood movies to get my understanding of the world.

    But Ron isn’t a supporter of Cuban human rights abuses, which he actually says in the article. He just realizes that (i) there is no GENUINE concern for human rights by Trump, and (ii) it doesn’t make sense to respond to Cuba’s violations of hits citizens rights by violating US citizens’ rights.

    And you might also bear in mind, the reason that Cuba has such tight security and is so poor is in large part due to US imperialism / intervention (how many attempts on Castro’s life?) / sanctions.

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  • Yo Paulie, start at 2:30. Learn what its like for the average Cuban.

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    • Replies: @CalDre
    Oh, I always look to Hollywood movies to get my understanding of the world.

    But Ron isn't a supporter of Cuban human rights abuses, which he actually says in the article. He just realizes that (i) there is no GENUINE concern for human rights by Trump, and (ii) it doesn't make sense to respond to Cuba's violations of hits citizens rights by violating US citizens' rights.

    And you might also bear in mind, the reason that Cuba has such tight security and is so poor is in large part due to US imperialism / intervention (how many attempts on Castro's life?) / sanctions.
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  • Ron Paul is a breath of fresh air. Trump’s grandstanding over Cuba may be his way of trying to win favor with the deep state. After all, ‘war and conflict’ is their specialty.

    Trump’s preemptive war on Syria made the Zions happy, and now his needless bellicosity towards cuba will please the neocons and all the Cuban ‘refugees’ who still hold a grudge against Castro.

    When will President Trump remember and rediscover candidate Trump? It’s time for a fresh start with a new direction. ‘Peace and prosperity, please!’

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  • Just another Trump F-up in the long line ahead of us. Trump letting the military run the ME is just another in the long line of Trump F-ups we will have to endure. Look for Russia to shoot down our jets over Syria for the latest US military F-up. Did I mention he won’t end DACA because of his big “heart”. Well at least we didn’t have Hillary appointing a Supreme Court judge.

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  • Since the US has also meddled in the affairs of Venezuela again, creating a political crisis and drop in oil production, Russia seems more than happy to step in with fuel for Cuba again.

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  • The Globalist, of whom Trump is very much a part, are still pissed-off at the Castro brothers for throwing the Kosher-Nostra (the Jewish Mafia) out of Cuba and confiscating their property for distribution to the poor living in a state of perpetual poverty to the wealthy. They’ll never get over it, with Marco Rubio, representing a 2nd generation of sore losers with an ax to grind.

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  • I’ll tell you up front that my personal vehicle has crowns of rust on the rear wheel wells and an interior that smells vaguely of dog puke. It’s a 2006 Mazda3 with 150,244 miles on it and it gets me around my modest world well enough, but I sure never considered it the stuff of...
  • . But to Cubans, those ancient vehicles — whose only original parts are their steel bodies, welded together and repainted untold numbers of times — are just evidence of their island’s pervasive scarcity.

    You must have missed seeing the new car showrooms that abound everywhere. Mostly Japanese models, plus VWs , Chinese coming ?

    In 2016, President Obama relaxed some of its rules so that Americans can nowlegally visit, subject to certain limitations; our new president could rescind that freedom on a whim.

    We visited legally about ten years ago to make a film, among other things. President Bush recinded that freedom on a whim.

    http://robertmagill.wordpress.com

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  • OK. I’ll admit, as a sometimes old-car aficionado, there is a certain allure to traveling to Cuba. But then my pragmatic self reminds me that Cuba is depressingly like going to Mexico. Get the local flavor, mix it up with the cabbies and the hoi-polloi, recklessly seek out some cheap street drugs and hit the beaches or the quaint, non-air-conditioned eateries. The narcissistic come away feeling proud to be an American. The empathic think ‘I thought the hair-lip thing had been eradicated’.
    No thanks.
    I think I’ll stay home and ponder the reasons why I’m suddenly so caught up in determining an author’s political persuasion (thank you so much, mainstream media).
    In some odd, epiphany moment, a reflective article about Time Warp Island has nudged me back on track, baby steps as they may be. Reminding that my memory of a time when politics seemed less about identity and group and the only thing is not a made-up memory. Like almost all memories, it was better back then. When did I start pondering the co-dependency of SJWs, Right-Wing war mongers and Zero-sum isolationists? As a continually struggling entrepreneur, who the hell has time to do political debate every time you meet someone? Hell, I have a younger wife and a 13 year-old daughter at home. Honestly, between those two and work, well, you know……
    So maybe there’s hope for me still. Self-diagnosis is apparently half the battle, right? For that alone, I thank you Mattea Kramer.
    Oh, and one more thing: You and Hubby didn’t happen to bring any cigars back home with you, did you…?

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  • In the 1950s, in terms of GDP per capita, Cuba was at the level of Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Mexico, Portugal, Greece, and Spain (!), and considerably above Brazil and the Dominican Republican. Today, it is far behind all of them, having dropped from 20% of US GDP per capita then to just slightly more...
  • Comparing Cuba to Spain because they started out in a similar place in 1950 is kind of a bad idea. The Spanish economy in 1950 was artificially depressed by the aftereffects of the Civil War, and its ‘natural’ level was quite a bit higher than Cuba’s.

    I also don’t think the flaws of the Cuban economy are entirely attributable to ‘central planning’. They reverted to more of a standard Soviet type economy after Che Guevara was killed in 1967 (IIRC), but in the early 1960s they had experimented with ultra-Left wing variants of communism, in which “moral incentives” like exhortation, social shaming and the like was supposed to take the role of financial incentives. Moral incentives are great in their place, and I’d like to see them take a bigger role in the world, but *as a means of planning an entire economy* they failed miserably. You can see that in the chart- Cuba’s economy declined sharply (in relative terms) in the 1960s, but then stabilized in the 1970s once they ditched the Guevarist extreme-leftism and adopted a standard Eastern Bloc economy with small pay differentials, rewards based on achievement and so forth.

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  • […] commie. Los datos son largos y exhaustivos, así que es recomendable echar un vistazo esta serie de artículos. Más allá del romanticismo guerrillerista que compramos en Occidente, como describió alguien en […]

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @RW
    Anonymous, in what way do you think Walmart is inefficient? And what do you mean by a "highly concentrated capital market"?

    I didn’t say it was inefficient. It’s monopsonistic, which means it has monopolistic buying power and can significantly dictate prices to suppliers. This can hinder certain products that need to be more expensive initially to recoup investment in their production before eventually becoming cheaper through the industrial learning curve and mass production.

    This is the same principle behind government “single-payer” healthcare. The government acts as a monopsony, the single buyer of healthcare in the economy, and thus have the monopoly power to dictate lower prices to healthcare providers. This can translate to lower immediate healthcare costs but hinder new or different healthcare products that need to be more expensive, at least initially.

    Highly concentrated capital is basically what communist economies have. Government bureaucrats basically control most of the capital of the country and try to allocate it. In ostensibly capitalist countries, wealth inequality and concentration of capital can lead to similar central planning problems as those in communist economies.

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  • @jack shindo
    The chart is correct but does not reflect true 'market " conditions when countries are under an embargo order whereby even private business is prohibited from engaging in acquisition of goods and services. This is not helped by total control by the Cuban government though health care and education participation has equalled or surpassed many of other islands in the hemisphere.

    I say that the embargo is a calculated trap to the extent that Nixon sought out, negotiated with the Chinese communists who tried to exterminate US military in Korea and He (Nixon) is a hero. Even US businesses continue to do business with this Communist giant (China) whle a small Caribbean island is considered a threat and it has at least .00000000001% of people, resources, etc when compared to China and present day Russia under the demigod Putin. WTF!

    “…whle a small Caribbean island is considered a threat…”

    The small Carribean island is 90 miles off our shores and was an outpost of the Soviet Empire for 30 years. After that it played footsie with the PRC and Islamic sponsors of terrorism, plus the oil rich Chavez regime before it just about destroyed itself. One reason for the embargo was so as not to collaborate with, first, Fidel, and then, Raoul, in oppressing their people. Google “Ladies in White.”

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  • @Stavros H
    Capitalism is atrocious in providing education, healthcare, legal cover and increasingly, housing. On that count, communist regimes were much better than capitalist regimes *at a similar level of economic development*.

    But capitalism, has proven far superior to communism in providing consumer goods (cars, TVs, clothes, domestic appliances etc)

    Just look at the roads in Cuba, they are almost entirely empty, the Cubans have no cars!

    At least in the US, the government is heavily involved in education, healthcare, legal cover and housing, more so than in those other consumer goods, so you can’t really point to their high costs as evidence of market failure.

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  • @neutral
    Haiti was not exactly a paragon of communist revolution, and look where it is on the graph. This article misses the racial makeup of all the nations mentioned, I would bet that Cuba became increasingly non white as a lot of the people fleeing were white.

    Ignoring the big racial elephant in the room, things like having massive trade embargo does obviously damage the economy.

    Haiti has also had bad or unstable governments with few protections for private property rights. Of course, you could argue that the demographics also determine the politics of a nation, but I’d wager that a benevolent colonialism, with property rights and market policies imposed from above, would see Haiti become wealthier, even if not to white standards.

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  • @Stavros H
    Yes, the failure is obvious.

    But the US embargo (something from which the other LatAm countries have not suffered from) and the Soviet collapse should be taken into account.

    It always amuses me when leftists unironically point to the embargo as the cause of Cuba’s poverty. “So you’re saying that restrictions on trade harm an economy? Who’d have thought?”

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  • Ironically, the one major sphere of the Soviet economy where there was internal competition – the military-industrial sector – was also its most successful and innovative one.

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  • @RW
    When I was in Cuba during the 1990s the Cubans I knew were more impressed with their old US appliances than their Russian ones. And have you ever heard of the East German car(dboards)?

    Besides East German cars (where engineers were demoted for proposing improvements in the design, because they couldn’t produce enough for all the Eastern Bloc demand with the old design…), the pre-eminent Soviet car, Lada, is a FIAT design licensed from the Italian carmaker.

    So they didn’t even trust their engineers to properly design a car.

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  • we didn’t have access to Soviet archives until after fall of ussr
    we didn’t have access to nazi archives until after fall of NSDAP

    Soviet records are true
    Nazi records are false

    Kek

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  • @Glossy
    The thing about consumer goods is Western Cold War propaganda. Yes, the Soviet Union didn't make its own equivalents to Swiss watches, German cars or Italian women's shoes, but neither did the US. The inability of the US manufacturing sector to produce truly high-quality goods was surely one reason for its death. US trade policies was another.

    I remember Soviet consumer goods. They were fine.

    When I was in Cuba during the 1990s the Cubans I knew were more impressed with their old US appliances than their Russian ones. And have you ever heard of the East German car(dboards)?

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    Besides East German cars (where engineers were demoted for proposing improvements in the design, because they couldn't produce enough for all the Eastern Bloc demand with the old design...), the pre-eminent Soviet car, Lada, is a FIAT design licensed from the Italian carmaker.

    So they didn't even trust their engineers to properly design a car.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Anonymous
    Actually, Swiss watches, German cars, and Italian fashion derive much of their value from what you dismiss and deride as "fluff" and "marketing," rather than simple material quality. They derive much of their value from their brand value, prestige, and by being luxury goods which induce demand simply by being more expensive.

    The US developed and invented mass automobile production and many of the features and components of modern cars. German cars aren't better than US cars. German cars are notorious for being overpriced, overengineered, and unreliable money pits. Soviet consumer goods never came close to US goods. The US economy's weaknesses are precisely in those areas where it resembles the Soviet economy in its centralization - highly concentrated capital markets, highly concentrated consumer products corps, monopsonies like Walmart, etc.

    Anonymous, in what way do you think Walmart is inefficient? And what do you mean by a “highly concentrated capital market”?

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    I didn't say it was inefficient. It's monopsonistic, which means it has monopolistic buying power and can significantly dictate prices to suppliers. This can hinder certain products that need to be more expensive initially to recoup investment in their production before eventually becoming cheaper through the industrial learning curve and mass production.

    This is the same principle behind government "single-payer" healthcare. The government acts as a monopsony, the single buyer of healthcare in the economy, and thus have the monopoly power to dictate lower prices to healthcare providers. This can translate to lower immediate healthcare costs but hinder new or different healthcare products that need to be more expensive, at least initially.

    Highly concentrated capital is basically what communist economies have. Government bureaucrats basically control most of the capital of the country and try to allocate it. In ostensibly capitalist countries, wealth inequality and concentration of capital can lead to similar central planning problems as those in communist economies.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Anatoly Karlin
    A note about the embargo - as far as I'm aware it was only effected by the US. Cuba could still trade with Europe and almost everyone else. It even joined the WTO in 1995. So I think it's unlikely that the embargo had a cardinal impact on the Cuban economy.

    it’s unlikely that the embargo had a cardinal impact on the Cuban economy.

    All else equal, the USA would constitute the lion’s share of Cuba’s foreign trade.

    Comparing nearby countries (all rough figures I take from CIA Factbook 2014-’15)

    Haiti
    85% of its $1 billion export trade go to the USA. (!)
    25% of its $3.5 billion import trade comes from the USA (only DomRep sells them more)

    Dominican Republic
    43% of its $10 billion export trade goes to the USA (and a big chunk of the rest goes to Haiti with whom it shares a land border)
    42% of its $17 billion import trade comes from the USA

    Jamaica
    24% of its $1.5 billion export trade goes to the USA
    33% of its $5 billion import trade comes from from the USA

    Your analysis is good, as usual, but on this point I think you have underestimated how much of a hit Cuba took by losing the USA as a trading partner. Cuba had to find friends elsewhere, and they didn’t quite make up for what was lost. The CIA data tells us that Venezuela and China alone make up an inordinate share of Cuba’s trade (such as it is):

    27%: Share of Cuba’s $4 Billion Export Trade Destined for Venezuela & China

    49%: Share of Cuba’s $13 Billion Import Trade Originating in Venezuela & China

    ____________

    I note that Cuba’s trade deficit is similar to Haiti’s and Jamaica’s (imports 35:10 exports). The economy of Jamaica relies on “remittances and tourism,” the latter of which was, of course, once a defining feature of Cuba in American eyes, and from which Cuba could have benefited an awful lot more from over the past sixty years (an enormous, rich, next-door pool of would-be vacationers), but for the U.S. ban on travel to Cuba. Yes, the U.S. embargo definitely hurt Cuba.

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  • @Stavros H
    Capitalism is atrocious in providing education, healthcare, legal cover and increasingly, housing. On that count, communist regimes were much better than capitalist regimes *at a similar level of economic development*.

    But capitalism, has proven far superior to communism in providing consumer goods (cars, TVs, clothes, domestic appliances etc)

    Just look at the roads in Cuba, they are almost entirely empty, the Cubans have no cars!

    look at the roads in Cuba, they are almost entirely empty, the Cubans have no cars!

    This is not, ipso facto, a bad thing.

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Glossy
    The thing about consumer goods is Western Cold War propaganda. Yes, the Soviet Union didn't make its own equivalents to Swiss watches, German cars or Italian women's shoes, but neither did the US. The inability of the US manufacturing sector to produce truly high-quality goods was surely one reason for its death. US trade policies was another.

    I remember Soviet consumer goods. They were fine.

    Actually, Swiss watches, German cars, and Italian fashion derive much of their value from what you dismiss and deride as “fluff” and “marketing,” rather than simple material quality. They derive much of their value from their brand value, prestige, and by being luxury goods which induce demand simply by being more expensive.

    The US developed and invented mass automobile production and many of the features and components of modern cars. German cars aren’t better than US cars. German cars are notorious for being overpriced, overengineered, and unreliable money pits. Soviet consumer goods never came close to US goods. The US economy’s weaknesses are precisely in those areas where it resembles the Soviet economy in its centralization – highly concentrated capital markets, highly concentrated consumer products corps, monopsonies like Walmart, etc.

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    • Replies: @RW
    Anonymous, in what way do you think Walmart is inefficient? And what do you mean by a "highly concentrated capital market"?
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  • @Glossy
    The thing about consumer goods is Western Cold War propaganda. Yes, the Soviet Union didn't make its own equivalents to Swiss watches, German cars or Italian women's shoes, but neither did the US. The inability of the US manufacturing sector to produce truly high-quality goods was surely one reason for its death. US trade policies was another.

    I remember Soviet consumer goods. They were fine.

    I remember Soviet consumer goods. They were fine.

    Dunno. All the older Russian and Ukrainian immigrants that I know (people born in the ’50s and ’60s) complain about the poor quality of Soviet consumer goods.

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  • @Anne Frank
    Odd that Karlin completely ignores the U.S. economic blockade. He completely ignores universal medical care and education through graduate school for all children in Cuba, and not only children of the rich, as in the U.S. Is GDP as a percent of US GDP a better measure of economic success than number of homeless, number in prison versus number in college, infant mortality rate, life expectancy, access to medical care, and percent of population malnourished? If GDP is all that counts, U.S. wins; but if quality of life matters, then Cuba wins by a huge margin.

    The US embargo is far from total. Also party elites have privileged place in terms of access to healthcare in Cuba

    http://cubanexilequarter.blogspot.com/2016/01/exposing-11-myths-of-revolution-in-cuba.html

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  • Odd that Karlin completely ignores the U.S. economic blockade. He completely ignores universal medical care and education through graduate school for all children in Cuba, and not only children of the rich, as in the U.S. Is GDP as a percent of US GDP a better measure of economic success than number of homeless, number in prison versus number in college, infant mortality rate, life expectancy, access to medical care, and percent of population malnourished? If GDP is all that counts, U.S. wins; but if quality of life matters, then Cuba wins by a huge margin.

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    • Replies: @Marcus
    The US embargo is far from total. Also party elites have privileged place in terms of access to healthcare in Cuba
    http://cubanexilequarter.blogspot.com/2016/01/exposing-11-myths-of-revolution-in-cuba.html
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  • @Anatoly Karlin
    A note about the embargo - as far as I'm aware it was only effected by the US. Cuba could still trade with Europe and almost everyone else. It even joined the WTO in 1995. So I think it's unlikely that the embargo had a cardinal impact on the Cuban economy.

    And Cubans in the US send millions in remittances back home, embargo or no.

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  • Could a post-Castro Cuba still produce a Capablanca?

    heh …

    Cuba still punches above it’s weight in Chess, like many ex communist/Eastern Bloc countries or ex Soviet Republics —

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  • @jack shindo
    The chart is correct but does not reflect true 'market " conditions when countries are under an embargo order whereby even private business is prohibited from engaging in acquisition of goods and services. This is not helped by total control by the Cuban government though health care and education participation has equalled or surpassed many of other islands in the hemisphere.

    I say that the embargo is a calculated trap to the extent that Nixon sought out, negotiated with the Chinese communists who tried to exterminate US military in Korea and He (Nixon) is a hero. Even US businesses continue to do business with this Communist giant (China) whle a small Caribbean island is considered a threat and it has at least .00000000001% of people, resources, etc when compared to China and present day Russia under the demigod Putin. WTF!

    A note about the embargo – as far as I’m aware it was only effected by the US. Cuba could still trade with Europe and almost everyone else. It even joined the WTO in 1995. So I think it’s unlikely that the embargo had a cardinal impact on the Cuban economy.

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    • Replies: @Marcus
    And Cubans in the US send millions in remittances back home, embargo or no.
    , @Hail

    it’s unlikely that the embargo had a cardinal impact on the Cuban economy.
     
    All else equal, the USA would constitute the lion's share of Cuba's foreign trade.

    Comparing nearby countries (all rough figures I take from CIA Factbook 2014-'15)

    Haiti
    85% of its $1 billion export trade go to the USA. (!)
    25% of its $3.5 billion import trade comes from the USA (only DomRep sells them more)

    Dominican Republic
    43% of its $10 billion export trade goes to the USA (and a big chunk of the rest goes to Haiti with whom it shares a land border)
    42% of its $17 billion import trade comes from the USA


    Jamaica
    24% of its $1.5 billion export trade goes to the USA
    33% of its $5 billion import trade comes from from the USA


    Your analysis is good, as usual, but on this point I think you have underestimated how much of a hit Cuba took by losing the USA as a trading partner. Cuba had to find friends elsewhere, and they didn't quite make up for what was lost. The CIA data tells us that Venezuela and China alone make up an inordinate share of Cuba's trade (such as it is):

    27%: Share of Cuba's $4 Billion Export Trade Destined for Venezuela & China

    49%: Share of Cuba's $13 Billion Import Trade Originating in Venezuela & China

    ____________

    I note that Cuba's trade deficit is similar to Haiti's and Jamaica's (imports 35:10 exports). The economy of Jamaica relies on "remittances and tourism," the latter of which was, of course, once a defining feature of Cuba in American eyes, and from which Cuba could have benefited an awful lot more from over the past sixty years (an enormous, rich, next-door pool of would-be vacationers), but for the U.S. ban on travel to Cuba. Yes, the U.S. embargo definitely hurt Cuba.

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  • @Glossy
    The Spanish boom under Franco must have been at least partly due to the recovery from the Civil War.

    The Civil War was in the 1930s. That would have been a factor up until 1950 (even though Spain sat out WW2 it still had a negative impact) or so but surely not afterwards.

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  • @neutral
    Haiti was not exactly a paragon of communist revolution, and look where it is on the graph. This article misses the racial makeup of all the nations mentioned, I would bet that Cuba became increasingly non white as a lot of the people fleeing were white.

    Ignoring the big racial elephant in the room, things like having massive trade embargo does obviously damage the economy.

    It did, although the Latin American definitions of race are somewhat different, the emigrants were overwhelmingly Spanish or mestizo until 1980.

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  • Haiti was not exactly a paragon of communist revolution, and look where it is on the graph. This article misses the racial makeup of all the nations mentioned, I would bet that Cuba became increasingly non white as a lot of the people fleeing were white.

    Ignoring the big racial elephant in the room, things like having massive trade embargo does obviously damage the economy.

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    • Replies: @Marcus
    It did, although the Latin American definitions of race are somewhat different, the emigrants were overwhelmingly Spanish or mestizo until 1980.
    , @jtgw
    Haiti has also had bad or unstable governments with few protections for private property rights. Of course, you could argue that the demographics also determine the politics of a nation, but I'd wager that a benevolent colonialism, with property rights and market policies imposed from above, would see Haiti become wealthier, even if not to white standards.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • The chart is correct but does not reflect true ‘market ” conditions when countries are under an embargo order whereby even private business is prohibited from engaging in acquisition of goods and services. This is not helped by total control by the Cuban government though health care and education participation has equalled or surpassed many of other islands in the hemisphere.

    I say that the embargo is a calculated trap to the extent that Nixon sought out, negotiated with the Chinese communists who tried to exterminate US military in Korea and He (Nixon) is a hero. Even US businesses continue to do business with this Communist giant (China) whle a small Caribbean island is considered a threat and it has at least .00000000001% of people, resources, etc when compared to China and present day Russia under the demigod Putin. WTF!

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    A note about the embargo - as far as I'm aware it was only effected by the US. Cuba could still trade with Europe and almost everyone else. It even joined the WTO in 1995. So I think it's unlikely that the embargo had a cardinal impact on the Cuban economy.
    , @Hibernian
    "...whle a small Caribbean island is considered a threat..."

    The small Carribean island is 90 miles off our shores and was an outpost of the Soviet Empire for 30 years. After that it played footsie with the PRC and Islamic sponsors of terrorism, plus the oil rich Chavez regime before it just about destroyed itself. One reason for the embargo was so as not to collaborate with, first, Fidel, and then, Raoul, in oppressing their people. Google "Ladies in White."
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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Glossy
    I disagree with you about state-run economies. Market economies produce more economic activity, but a lot of that extra activity is scamming, marketing, litigiousness and other fluff. I define scamming broadly. For example, offering students a marketing degree is scamming to me.

    If Cuba's healthcare system was private, it would contribute more to Cuba's GDP, most likely without improving health outcomes.

    Marketing is a legitimate and necessary activity in a market economy. In order to meet market demand, producers and suppliers have to identify, serve, and communicate to market demand, which is what marketing entails. In the broadest sense, central planning bureaucrats in a communist country trying to figure out how many rolls of bread the population needs are engaging in “marketing.”

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  • @Stavros H
    Capitalism is atrocious in providing education, healthcare, legal cover and increasingly, housing. On that count, communist regimes were much better than capitalist regimes *at a similar level of economic development*.

    But capitalism, has proven far superior to communism in providing consumer goods (cars, TVs, clothes, domestic appliances etc)

    Just look at the roads in Cuba, they are almost entirely empty, the Cubans have no cars!

    The thing about consumer goods is Western Cold War propaganda. Yes, the Soviet Union didn’t make its own equivalents to Swiss watches, German cars or Italian women’s shoes, but neither did the US. The inability of the US manufacturing sector to produce truly high-quality goods was surely one reason for its death. US trade policies was another.

    I remember Soviet consumer goods. They were fine.

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    • Replies: @syonredux

    I remember Soviet consumer goods. They were fine.
     
    Dunno. All the older Russian and Ukrainian immigrants that I know (people born in the '50s and '60s) complain about the poor quality of Soviet consumer goods.
    , @Anonymous
    Actually, Swiss watches, German cars, and Italian fashion derive much of their value from what you dismiss and deride as "fluff" and "marketing," rather than simple material quality. They derive much of their value from their brand value, prestige, and by being luxury goods which induce demand simply by being more expensive.

    The US developed and invented mass automobile production and many of the features and components of modern cars. German cars aren't better than US cars. German cars are notorious for being overpriced, overengineered, and unreliable money pits. Soviet consumer goods never came close to US goods. The US economy's weaknesses are precisely in those areas where it resembles the Soviet economy in its centralization - highly concentrated capital markets, highly concentrated consumer products corps, monopsonies like Walmart, etc.
    , @RW
    When I was in Cuba during the 1990s the Cubans I knew were more impressed with their old US appliances than their Russian ones. And have you ever heard of the East German car(dboards)?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • The Spanish boom under Franco must have been at least partly due to the recovery from the Civil War.

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    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    The Civil War was in the 1930s. That would have been a factor up until 1950 (even though Spain sat out WW2 it still had a negative impact) or so but surely not afterwards.
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  • @Glossy
    I disagree with you about state-run economies. Market economies produce more economic activity, but a lot of that extra activity is scamming, marketing, litigiousness and other fluff. I define scamming broadly. For example, offering students a marketing degree is scamming to me.

    If Cuba's healthcare system was private, it would contribute more to Cuba's GDP, most likely without improving health outcomes.

    Capitalism is atrocious in providing education, healthcare, legal cover and increasingly, housing. On that count, communist regimes were much better than capitalist regimes *at a similar level of economic development*.

    But capitalism, has proven far superior to communism in providing consumer goods (cars, TVs, clothes, domestic appliances etc)

    Just look at the roads in Cuba, they are almost entirely empty, the Cubans have no cars!

    Read More
    • Replies: @Glossy
    The thing about consumer goods is Western Cold War propaganda. Yes, the Soviet Union didn't make its own equivalents to Swiss watches, German cars or Italian women's shoes, but neither did the US. The inability of the US manufacturing sector to produce truly high-quality goods was surely one reason for its death. US trade policies was another.

    I remember Soviet consumer goods. They were fine.
    , @Hail

    look at the roads in Cuba, they are almost entirely empty, the Cubans have no cars!
     
    This is not, ipso facto, a bad thing.
    , @jtgw
    At least in the US, the government is heavily involved in education, healthcare, legal cover and housing, more so than in those other consumer goods, so you can't really point to their high costs as evidence of market failure.
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  • Yes, the failure is obvious.

    But the US embargo (something from which the other LatAm countries have not suffered from) and the Soviet collapse should be taken into account.

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    • Replies: @jtgw
    It always amuses me when leftists unironically point to the embargo as the cause of Cuba's poverty. "So you're saying that restrictions on trade harm an economy? Who'd have thought?"
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • I disagree with you about state-run economies. Market economies produce more economic activity, but a lot of that extra activity is scamming, marketing, litigiousness and other fluff. I define scamming broadly. For example, offering students a marketing degree is scamming to me.

    If Cuba’s healthcare system was private, it would contribute more to Cuba’s GDP, most likely without improving health outcomes.

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    • Agree: Seamus Padraig
    • Replies: @Stavros H
    Capitalism is atrocious in providing education, healthcare, legal cover and increasingly, housing. On that count, communist regimes were much better than capitalist regimes *at a similar level of economic development*.

    But capitalism, has proven far superior to communism in providing consumer goods (cars, TVs, clothes, domestic appliances etc)

    Just look at the roads in Cuba, they are almost entirely empty, the Cubans have no cars!
    , @Anonymous
    Marketing is a legitimate and necessary activity in a market economy. In order to meet market demand, producers and suppliers have to identify, serve, and communicate to market demand, which is what marketing entails. In the broadest sense, central planning bureaucrats in a communist country trying to figure out how many rolls of bread the population needs are engaging in "marketing."
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  • The Nuclear Security Summit in Washington is reminds us that President Obama won his Nobel Peace Prize in large part because of his stated intentions concerning nuclear non-proliferation. The two most recent achievements in US counterproliferation (Libya) and non-proliferation (Iran) have been tarnished by the destruction of Libya as a counter-proliferation example for North Korea...
  • On further reflection, it could claimed that hackers tampering with GPS software caused an entire carrier task force to run aground at Bay of Pigs and the fleet marines went into a joyful combat ecstasy.

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  • @Wizard of Oz
    Remind me. I am not fully switched over from the glory and disgrace of the British Empire to the even shorter term and already declining spectacle of the American Empire so don't have my Trivial Pursuits mode switched to the right channel at this moment. Not a reference to the Tonkin Gulf I think and not even a truther could think that FDR contrived those December 41 sinkings. The Liberty didn't sink and anyway the tune is wrong. Cuba 1898 perhaps?

    Indeed! 1898 it is. Remember the Maine, to hell with Spain. Of course, you don’t even have to sink a real ship if you can conjure a convenient attempt, malice afore thought.

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  • References ? Footnotes? Another junk article.

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says: • Website

    Twelve Unaswered Questions About the Cuban Missile Crisis

    One of the unintended consequences of the end of the Cold War was that liars on both sides (read spies and intelligence officers) joined forces to misinform. For example, a decade ago gathered in Havana none other than Robert McNamara, Alexei Aleseyev, Sergio Mikoyan, Fidel Castro and other professional disinformation specialists. The reason for the meeting was to discuss about the missile crisis of October 1962.

    The crisis, which allegedly began 50 years ago when an American U-2 plane discovered that the Soviet Union had installed missile bases in Cuba for medium-range strategic nuclear missiles, is still a hot topic in the history of the Cold War. Documents declassified a few years ago, and countless new books on the subject, have given us a vision, indeed terrifying, of the dangerous time when, according to these authors, the world was on the brink of nuclear war. According to them, the missing pieces of the puzzle fit together perfectly well to give us a coherent picture of what actually happened during the crisis.
    Maybe too well.

    The truth, however, is that despite everything that has been written, some key questions remain unanswered. I am offering below a few pieces of the puzzle that are still missing, but they are not the only ones.

    Question 1. According to Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, the idea of placing nuclear missiles in Cuba to defend the Castro government from an American attack came during a trip he made to Bulgaria from 14 to 20 May, 1962. But a few days earlier, on May 5, Cuban Ambassador Faure Chomón definitely had returned from Moscow and its successor, Carlos Olivares, who was appointed twelve days later, still remained in Cuba without presenting his credentials to the Soviet government. The unexpected replacement of Chomón and his urgent return to Cuba coincided with the discovery and subsequent neutralization by Fidel Castro of a coup attempt to overthrow him. The failed coup had been coordinated by the Soviet ambassador in Havana Sergei Kudryavtsev, and seconded by several key members of the traditional pro-Soviet Cuban Communist Party.

    Ambassadort Kudryavtsev, whom Barron in his book KGB called a “master of subversion,” had another job besides being ambassador. His real job was to act as a senior Soviet KGB intelligence officer in Havana and prepare the conditions for a takeover by the Russians after Casto was deposed. But Castro discovered the plot and summarily expelled Kudryavtsev from Cuba along with a group of his embassy officials and KGB agents on 20 May 1962. However, as senior Soviet intelligence officers never act motu proprio, but strictly by-the-book, one can safely surmise that Kudryavtsev anti-Castro activities followed orders from the top Soviet leadership, most likely from Khrushchev himself.

    In diplomatic language, when two countries respectively withdraw their ambassadors it means that the relations are at a very low point, usually close to a breakup. Why was precisely after a failed attempt to overthrow Fidel Castro and when relations between the two countries were so unfriendly, that Khrushchev got the wild idea of placing nuclear missiles in Cuba to protect Castro from an American attack? Was Khrushchev crazy?

    [MORE]

    Question 2. According to most American authors who have studied the crisis, a key element in its successful solution by President Kennedy was the important role played by Colonel Oleg Penkovsky, a colonel in Soviet military intelligence (GRU), who had been recruited by the CIA. It was a remarkable coincidence, these authors said, that a few months before the crisis Penkovsky had provided the CIA with a copy of the operating manual of the same type of missiles that the Soviets later emplaced in Cuba. Penkovsky was arrested by the Soviet authorities a day before the beginning crisis and allegedly sentenced to death and executed some months later. Even today the CIA recruitment of Penkovsky is considered one its greatest successes, which contributed greatly to restoring the lost prestige after the resounding failure of the Bay of Pigs invasion.

    But top officials of the MI6, the British intelligence service, had a very different opinion about Penkovsky. To them, who were actually those who made the first contacts with the Soviet officer and then passed it on to the CIA, Penkovsky was the main element of a disinformation operation of the Soviet intelligence. Apart from the irregular way in which Penkovsky was recruited — Penkovsky tried on several occasions to be recruited by British intelligence, but they always refused because considered him an agent provocateur — there is strong evidence indicating that, from their first contact with the British, Soviet intelligence was aware of Penkovsky’s activities.

    For this and other reasons, Peter Wright, the famous British spy hunter and former deputy director of MI5 (the British FBI), is convinced that Penkovsky was actually a key element in a Soviet disinformation operation.

    So if, as it appears, Penkovsky actually worked for the Soviet intelligence services, or they had him under surveillance because from the beginning knew of his treachery, why they allowed Penkovsky to give the CIA such detailed information about exactly the type of missiles they were to deploy in Cuba, which later helped the CIA to identify them on Cuban soil?

    Question 3. According to secret Soviet government documents, made available to researchers a few years ago, Soviet officers in Cuba had complete autonomy over the use of nuclear missiles, to the point where they can be fired at will without the express permission of Moscow. If true, this would have violated all procedures established by the Soviet army on the use of nuclear weapons.

    The Soviets have always been very careful in the control of their nuclear weapons, to the point that, although the Army officers had control over rocket artillery missiles with conventional warheads, the nuclear warheads remained apart, controlled by special units of the KGB Spetsnaz. According to their standard operating procedure, the mating of nuclear warheads to missiles was made only following express orders strictly validated by the Soviet high command after having been authorized by the Prime Minister. These regulations were in place before the crisis and maintained thereafter. So, why the Soviets, as alleged in the case of the missiles in Cuba, so drastically violated strict security procedures established by the Soviet military doctrine on the use of nuclear weapons?

    Question 4. In its issue of November 24, 1990, the French magazine Le Monde published parts of a secret speech that Fidel Castro addressed to the Central Committee of the Cuban Communist Party in 1968, in which he confessed his “immense love” for the nuclear missiles the Soviets had deployed on Cuban soil. It is known that, on October 22, at a critical moment of the crisis, Cuban army units assaulted and occupied for several hours a battery of Soviet missiles anti-aircraft missiles in the eastern part of Cuba, until they were outmanned by Soviet special units, with heavy casualties on both sides. That was the battery that shot down a U-2 during the crisis. The unusual fact was later published in the Washington Times by Daniel Ellsberg, then an intelligence analyst for the U.S. Defense Department, and later confirmed by Adrian Montoro, ex-director of Radio Havana Cuba, in an article he wrote for the New York Times.

    Those who participated in the crisis on the U.S. side repeatedly mentioned Khrushchev’s inexplicable folly of placing nuclear missiles in Cuba. All agreed that jus a single nuclear missile fired from Cuban territory to the United States would have caused a devastating U.S. military response directed not only against Cuba, but also against the Soviet Union. Why Khrushchev, who was no fool and knew perfectly well the extraordinary love that trigger happy Fidel felt for the nuclear missiles, placed so dangerously close to Castro the nuclear trigger that could have brought the total destruction of the Soviet Union?

    Question 5. According to the official story, what finally convinced Castro, who at first was not all get to over the idea of accepting the missiles, was the certainty that President Kennedy was planning an attack on the island. The ultimate proof was submitted in the confidential notes of a conversation that Soviet journalist Alexei Adzhubei, Izvestia’s editor and Khrushchev’s son-in-law, had with President Kennedy a few days earlier in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts. According Adzhubei, Kennedy had brought up the subject of the Soviet invasion of Hungary in 1956, reminding him that at that time the United States had not intervened. This, according to the Soviets, was a clear warning that when the Americans invaded Cuba, the Soviets, in return, should refrain from intervening.

    The problem with this theory is that Americans who were at the meeting have denied time and again that Kennedy had mentioned Hungary during the interview, let alone that the U.S. had plans for an invasion of Cuba. All information in this regard seems to confirm the veracity of the American version. Apparently the secret report was a lie specially designed by Adzhubei to convince Castro to accept rockets. Apparently Khrushchev was so eager to convince Castro into accepting the missiles that he went to the point of lying about an impending American attack that did not really exist. But, why?

    Question 6. Available evidence shows that that Fidel Castro really wanted at the time was that the Soviet Union admitted Cuba to the Warsaw Pact or at least sign a separate military treaty with the Cuban government. But, if one is to believe Premier Khrushchev, the best solution to protect the government of Fidel Castro from a U.S. invasion was installing nuclear missile bases in Cuba.

    According to secret Soviet documents brought to light a few years ago, when Americans discovered what looked like strategic missile bases on Cuban soil, they were ready to be fired, and nuclear warheads were already in the island, ready to be matted with the missiles. But, surprisingly, as the crisis went on, Khrushchev gave in to U.S. pressure and withdrew the missile bases from Cuba. In his memoirs, the Soviet leader claims that his decision was because he had received concrete evidence that Kennedy had decided to launch an attack on Cuba.

    So, according to his logic, Khrushchev placed nuclear missiles in Cuba to deter or repel an American attack on the island, and then withdrew them when he was told that the U.S. was going to attack Cuba. Khrushchev’s strange behavior cannot be explained by cowardice or incompetence, because the Soviet military often demonstrated its courage and military domination of technology in the war against the Nazis. Why, then, Khrushchev withdrew the missiles at the precise moment when they could have been used for the purpose for which they were installed in Cuba? This explanation does not make head or tail.

    Question 7. Most American authors who have studied the crisis believe that Khrushchev made a huge miscalculation when he placed nuclear missiles in Cuba, because instead of discouraging an American attack, actually encouraged it. But there are elements that suggest that, contrary to what these authors’ claim, Khrushchev did not commit any error in calculation.

    In its National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) circulated in September 1962, just a few days before the crisis, CIA intelligence analysts, despite all the rumors that the Soviets were building strategic missile bases in Cuba, refused to consider this possibility. The main reason, experts and intelligence analysts from the CIA concluded, was that the Soviets had never transferred nuclear warheads beyond its borders. Another important reason was that Khrushchev had to be aware that the installation of nuclear missile bases in Cuba would trigger a devastating U.S. attack on the island. Soviet secret documents and references made in Khrushchev’s own memoirs seem to confirm this view. If this is true, why Khrushchev ordered to build the missile bases in the knowledge that, far from discouraging, this will surely provoke a U.S. attack?

    Question 8. One aspect that caught the attention of CIA’s intelligence analysts was that the Russians had not camouflaged the missile bases. In photos taken by U-2s, the bases are perfectly defined, without any camouflage concealing them. This is very strange, because the Soviets were experts at masking. Maskirovka always constituted an important aspect of Soviet military tactics, and camouflaging techniques always received special attention in the Soviet military schools. However, it was not until October 23, a day after Kennedy announced on television the discovery of missile bases on Cuban soil, that the Soviets began hastily attempting to camouflage them.

    The fact that the Soviet officers used no camouflage to mask the missile bases caused deep unease among some senior Cuban officials, including Che Guevara. In a secret speech delivered months after to senior members of his “Communis” party,” Castro mentioned the unexplainable fact, and said that he thought the Soviets had done it on purpose. If, as it appears, this is true, why the Soviets wanted the Americans to discover the missile bases?

    Question 9. The facilities that appeared to be strategic nuclear missile bases were surrounded by anti-aircraft rocket batteries (SAMs), whose primary purpose was to protect the bases against air raids, particularly from spy planes. But engineering students at the University of Havana, who had been assigned as advisers to the radar units of the SAM bases, observed how their radar screens showed the U-2 flying over the bases without Soviet officials making the minimum attempt to shoot them down.

    This Soviet behavior angered the Cuban students, who did not understand the cause of the failure of the Soviets to shoot down the spy planes. This anger grew to the point that in some bases it reached almost to the levelt of a revolt. Only the presence of Che Guevara, called urgently to the SAM batteries, managed to calm them down. However, when he in turn informed of the situation on the bases to Castro, Guevara told him that he himself did not understand the Soviet’s behavior. Why the Soviets did not attempt to shoot down American spy planes with the very rocket batteries whose sole purpose was to bring down American spy planes?

    Question 10. According to the official U.S. version of the facts, what sparked off the crisis were the photos taken by a U-2 spy plane flying over the western part of Cuba on October 14. The truth is that since August the U.S. intelligence services were certain that there were Soviet missile bases on Cuban soil. Between August 31 and October 10, Senator Kenneth Keating had made fourteen public statements and ten speeches in the Senate, denouncing the inaction of the Kennedy administration about the existence of missile bases in the western part of Cuba. Cuban refugees who were flying from Cuba to Florida by the hundreds, commented on the strange activities of the Russians in the western part of the island.

    However, despite all the evidence pointed towards the west, Kennedy suddenly banned the U-2 to fly over the western part of Cuba, and flights were concentrated in the eastern region. It was not until the pressure of public opinion and Senator Keating became intolerable that Kennedy ordered to resume flights over the western part of the island. It was in this first flight after the restart of the flights that a U-2 plane photographed what looked like missile bases. Why Kennedy did not want the U-2s to discover the Soviet missiles in Cuba?

    Question 11. According to the official U.S. version of the crisis, the high definition photographs taken by a U-2 plane on October 14 provided incontrovertible evidence of the presence of nuclear missiles in Cuba. But the fact remains that nobody actually saw the missiles, much less touched them. What we have seen are photos of some construction sites that CIA analysts thought were similar to what they believed were strategic missile sites appearing in photographs taken by U-2s flying over the Soviet Union.

    However, in his book The Soviet Army, former Soviet officer Victor Suborov tells how, in the early sixties, nuclear rockets that paraded through Red Square were actually dummies. The Russians, experts in the art of maskirovka and desinfomatzia since the time of Potemkin, had built during the Second World War a giant factory west of the Ural mountains exclusively dedicated to the manufacture of all kinds of war material of props, from inflatable rubber tanks to wooden MiGs and missile dummies.

    CIA subsequently admitted that it had no agents in the field that might have physically verified the existence of the strategic nuclear missiles on Cuban soil. When the Soviets were shipping back to the Soviet Union what they claimed were strategic nuclear missiles, Kennedy had an excellent opportunity to order the Navy to board the ships and physically verify the withdrawal of the missiles, but he did not. Why Kennedy decided not to verify the existence of the missiles and their actual withdrawing from Cuba?

    Furthermore, the U-2 pictures, which allegedly provided incontrovertible proof of the existence of nuclear missiles on Cuban soil, have been published in high resolution and are available on the web. Surprisingly, such photos only show long objects covered with tarps and a few concrete bunkers which allegedly contained the nuclear warheads. But the vaunted nuclear missiles do not appear anywhere. Why most books and articles about the crisis continue to maintain the theory that the U-2 pictures provided incontrovertible proof that there were nuclear missiles on Cuban soil in 1962?

    Question 12. According to documents declassified after the fall of the Soviet Union and confessions of some Soviet officers who participated in the operation, when the missiles were discovered by the U-2s, their nuclear warheads were already in Cuba, and were returned to the Soviet Union together with the missiles. However, all documents of the crisis Americans and one repeated over time, but assumed that the nuclear warheads were on Cuban soil, this was never proved. However, as Kennedy refused to authorize offshore verification, the presence of nuclear warheads on the Soviet ships was never confirmed.

    But there is something even more important. From the beginning of the sixties the U.S. had the technology for the remote detection of gamma radiation from nuclear warheads. By this time they had installed in the Dardanelles some powerful equipment that can detect radiation, and the presence of nuclear warheads on Soviet submarines sailing through the Strait. However, none of the official documents produced during the crisis has brought information that these teams had registered radiation from Soviet ships crossing the Strait supposedly carrying nuclear warheads to Cuba.

    Many of the photos taken during the crisis show U.S. Navy aircraft flying over Soviet ships only a few feet above the masts. Presumably, some of these aircraft carried equipment capable of detecting gamma radiation. But no information whatsoever has been offered about detecting radiation from nuclear warheads on the ships allegedly carrying missiles and nuclear warheads back to the Soviet Union. So, if the Soviets really had nuclear warheads in Cuba, why nobody ever detected radiation from these?

    More Questions Than Answers

    Some professional disinformation specialists have conspired to make us believe that, with regard to the missile crisis, all has been said and explained. The first book about the missile crisis was written by CFR agent Elie Abel. Then Graham T. Ellison (CFR), wrote Essence of Decision, a book that most people still consider the ultimate analysis of the decision making process during the crisis.

    According to Allison, the Soviet failure to camouflage the missiles may have had a simple answer: stupid bureaucratic procedures in the Soviet Army. Missile sites had never been camouflaged in the Soviet Union, so the construction crews at the sites did what they usually do: build the missile sites according to the installation manuals because somebody forgot to retrain them before they went to work on this mission.

    But, knowing the operational procedures of the Soviet Army this explanation seems a bit too simplistic to be credible. First of all, the officers and enlisted men assigned to the job of missile emplacement are normally not common soldiers, but specially trained personnel. Secondly, even with the existence of stupid bureaucratic procedures common to all armies, it is difficult to believe that they had made such a gross mistake, particularly if they were trying to place the missiles in Cuba using deception and stealth as the American official version claimed. Finally, Allison contradicts himself when, just two paragraphs before advancing his theory, he mentions that “The clandestine manner in which the missiles were shipped, unloaded, and transported to construction sites reveals the hand of Soviet intelligence agencies. Secrecy is their standard operating procedure.”

    Talking to journalists at a news conference on February 1963, CFR agent Robert McNamara mentioned the so-called “photographic gap” that occurred between September 5 and October 14. According to McNamara, the U-2 missions during that period “didn’t relate” to the areas where the Russian missiles were eventually found. That was short of a tacit admission that the CIA had failed to photograph the western half of the Island — the area where all evidence pointed that the missiles were most likely to be — during the six weeks preceding the flight that allegedly discovered the long-range missiles.

    Those who needed to know had been assured that any missile emplacements would have been discovered by the U-2 reconnaissance flights over Cuba. But they were not told that these flights were bypassing the important areas allegedly to avoid antiaircraft batteries or SAMs already installed by the Soviets. But, after being ordered to fly over the suspect areas in Cuba, early in October the U-2 flights were inexplicably canceled.

    After the crisis, the White House justified this decision by saying that Hurricane Ella had prevented air surveillance, but we know that Ella did not form until October 16. Even before the crisis was over, suspicions arise that the U-2 flights over Cuba had not been scheduled in an optimal manner. Later, in early 1963, the possibility of a “photographic gap” in U-2 coverage of Cuba was examined in detail by the Stennis Committee, but the charges were rejected as “unfounded.” However, the Stennis Report curiously ignored the critical questions of the U-2 paths over the Island between September 5 and October 24, merely observing that these flights “completed the coverage of those areas of Cuba which had been spotlighted as required early attention.” Yet, during cross examination by Congressmen Minshall and Ford in early February, 1963, Defense Secretary McNamara (CFR) admitted to the “photographic gap” of some 38 days in U-2 coverage of western Cuba.

    Though in his book Collision Course author Henry Pachter makes no reference to the “photographic gap,” he somewhat admits its existence in references to vague hints by administration sources that, because of the threat of Soviet SAM antiarcraft missiles in Cuba, reconnaissance flights during September had been limited to “side ways approaches.” Roger Hilsman’s 1964 article on the missile crisis gives no further explanation or consequences of the “photographic gap.”

    Even more significantly, in his now classic study of the alleged failures in national intelligence estimates, author Klaus Knorr (CFR) didn’t mention the “photographic gap” or even the role played by the U-2 in the intelligence gathering during the crisis. Some years later Theodor Sorensen (CFR) remarked that U-2 incidents elsewhere in the world led to a “high-lever reexamination of that airplane’s use” over Cuba and “some delay in flights,” but gave no additional information. Later in 1965 Roberta Wohlstetter (CFR) suggested that the Kennedy administration knew the Soviets had operations SAM sites in western Cuba, so the may have been extremely cautious in scheduling U-2 flights over the Island for fear of losing a plane.

    Additional disclosures concerning a change in policy concerning U-2 flights over Cuba were made by Elie Abel (CFR) and Roger Hilsman. Not even Graham T. Allison (CFR) gave a clear explanation for the failure of U.S. intelligence, due to a “photographic gap,” to discover the missiles earlier.

    Therefore, the fact remains that on September 10 a high level decision was made and express orders were given, prohibiting direct overflights of western Cuba —the part of the Island where all evidence pointed to the presence of strategic missile sites. This unexplainable decision led to the now famous “photographic gap.”

    Many years later, CIA photo interpreter Dino Brugioni offered a much more credible explanation: It was not the hurricane Ella that kept the U-2 from flying over the western part of Cuba, “but rather the dereliction, bumbling, and intransigence of [Secretary of State Dean] Rusk (CFR) and [Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs McGeorge] Bundy (CFR).” “Because of Bundy’s and Rusk’s stalling actions, there had been no U-2 photos of Cuba for over two weeks.”

    As expected, Foreign Affairs, the Council on Foreign Relations conspirators’ main disinformation organ, has just published on its web site some articles basically centered on the “lessons” of the Cuban missile crisis and its applicability to future crises. Now, given the fact that the “lessons” are based on the conspirators’ false narrative of the events, one have to conclude that these “lessons” are wrong.

    Nevertheless, the fact remains that, 50 years after, none of the above questions I have asked above have been satisfactorily answered. Moreover, I believe that a coherent answer to these questions will not be provided by the CFR professional disinformers because the answers will show us a very different picture than the one they are still trying hard to make us believe.

    Finally, a logical question can come to mind: Why these professional disinformers, most of them CFR members, spend so much time and effort muddying the historical waters? The answer is relatively simple: Because, true to the Orwellian principle that he who controls the past controls the present and the future, giving credibility to false past fears like the Cold War, the CFR disinformers lend credence to present false fears like the War on terror.
    —-
    The questions I have posed in this article are fully answered in my book The Nuclear Hoax: Kennedy, Khrushchev, Castro and the Cuban Missile Crisis.

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  • Anastas Mikoyan visited Cuba in 1960, way before the Cuban missile crisis. The man behind him in the foto is not Pliyev but Alexei Alexeyev, who later became Soviet ambassador to Cuba.

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  • @mtn cur
    Someone might remember that we already did the sinking ship gig.

    Remind me. I am not fully switched over from the glory and disgrace of the British Empire to the even shorter term and already declining spectacle of the American Empire so don’t have my Trivial Pursuits mode switched to the right channel at this moment. Not a reference to the Tonkin Gulf I think and not even a truther could think that FDR contrived those December 41 sinkings. The Liberty didn’t sink and anyway the tune is wrong. Cuba 1898 perhaps?

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    • Replies: @mtn cur
    Indeed! 1898 it is. Remember the Maine, to hell with Spain. Of course, you don't even have to sink a real ship if you can conjure a convenient attempt, malice afore thought.
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  • @Wizard of Oz
    I would have been interested in more believable detail about serious high level planning by the CIA or other for an invasion of Cuba after the staging of an incident like the sinking of a US ship at Guantanamo. What appears in what declassified material?

    It would be good to know of high level plans (if there have been any outside the back rooms)for the US to use a transparent pretext comparable to Hitler's excuse for invading Poland.

    Someone might remember that we already did the sinking ship gig.

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    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    Remind me. I am not fully switched over from the glory and disgrace of the British Empire to the even shorter term and already declining spectacle of the American Empire so don't have my Trivial Pursuits mode switched to the right channel at this moment. Not a reference to the Tonkin Gulf I think and not even a truther could think that FDR contrived those December 41 sinkings. The Liberty didn't sink and anyway the tune is wrong. Cuba 1898 perhaps?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • I would have been interested in more believable detail about serious high level planning by the CIA or other for an invasion of Cuba after the staging of an incident like the sinking of a US ship at Guantanamo. What appears in what declassified material?

    It would be good to know of high level plans (if there have been any outside the back rooms)for the US to use a transparent pretext comparable to Hitler’s excuse for invading Poland.

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    • Replies: @mtn cur
    Someone might remember that we already did the sinking ship gig.
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  • @tbraton
    "The American Conservative being a member of Israel Hasbara Committee , is as much a Zionist propaganda filth as the Wikipedia."

    Pat Buchanan and Taki Theodoracopulos, two of the three founders of TAC, will be somewhat startled to hear that.

    BTW what was it about my prior message, which merely quoted a few messages I had posted years ago on TAC, that prompted your outburst against Israelis and Zionists? Did they have something to do with the Cuban missile crisis of 1962 that I wasn't aware of?

    The Rehmat consortium contrives effortlessly to simulate the screaming denizen of Bedlam.

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  • @joe webb
    speculation...I seem to recall Shirley space-traveler MacLaine, the actress, planting a big kiss on Khruchev's pate at some function. She may have saved us.

    Castro wanted to nuke us. It will probably eventuate that the Castro bros are from a converso background.

    Joe Webb

    “converso background”?

    So the suggestion is that the fanaticism of the convert – in this case to Christianity – followed by perhaps the topping up of that fanaticism by conversion to Marxism produced a dangerous Latin American phenomenon – maybe like the feral Jesuits and other lefties that got Popes so worried????

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  • @Rehmat
    "The Nuclear Security Summit in Washington is reminds us that President Obama won his Nobel Peace Prize in large part because of his stated intentions concerning nuclear non-proliferation."

    But, but ....... Peter Lee, Obama won his 'Peace Medal' within seven months of his presidency for shielding Israel's nuclear arsenal.

    The Nuclear Security Summit is a JOKE created by the world nuclear powers that has misused the NPT the most.

    Like the previous 3rd Summit, the targets were Pakistan, N. Korea and the non-existential Iranian nuclear research.

    On January 14, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) issued its latest report, entitled Pakistan’s Nuclear Weapons, warning the world how dangerous it’s for a Muslim country to have 110-130 nuclear bombs. The report was prepared by two CRS Jewish ” NPT experts”, Paul K. Kerr and Mary Beth Nikitin. Their 2014 report on Iran-N. Korea-Syria Ballistic Missile and Nuclear Cooperation was published at Daily Alert, a propaganda out of Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.

    “Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal is widely regarded as designed to dissuade India from taking military action against Pakistan. But Islamabad’s expansion of its nuclear arsenal, development of new types of nuclear weapons, and adoption of a doctrine called “full spectrum deterrence” have led some observers to express concern about an increased risk of nuclear conflict between Pakistan and India which also continues to expand its nuclear arsenal,” says the report.

    “Pakistan has in recent years taken a number of steps to increase international confidence in security of its nuclear arsenal. However, instability in Pakistan has called the extent and durability of these reforms into question. Some observers fear radical takeover of the Pakistan government or diversion of material or technology by personnel within Pakistan’s nuclear complex,” the report added.

    https://rehmat1.com/2016/01/25/pakistans-nukes-scare-jewish-lobby/

    Pakistan is so dangerous and unstable that its government
    1. Can’t make visiting sporting teams safe enough for cricket Test matches and other sporting events to be held there;
    2. Can’t stop hundreds of children – even children of military personnel – being slaughtered by Taliban;
    3. Is powerless to prevent murder of a civilised provincial governor – and its widespread celebration – because he uttered a few humane and reasonable words in favour of a Christian woman accused of blasphemy…

    So do you think it is a good thing Pakistan has nuclear weapons? If so why?

    What would be the consequence for Pakistan if it didn’t have nuclear weapons?

    Is the worst case scenario some extension of Indian control over Kashmir (and if so why wasn’t that achieved before Pakistan had nuclear weapons?)?
    And why would that matter enough to justify Pakistan spending scarce resources on, and even going to war with, nuclear weapons?

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  • @joe webb
    tempting proposal but....I was in Cuba in 2000 for a leftie conference. I only went to enjoy watching my few friends squirm, and squirm they did with especially the brown ladies telling us how civil society was the seedbed of capitalism and that therefore it had to be heavily policed.

    I also wanted to see stalinism lite before it faded away. And I did, walking all over Havana and talking to folks, and one trip into the countryside. I wrote it up but no left journal would accept it. Strange.

    I thought about murdering Castro if he showed up at the conference. But rationality and actually not much fear kept me from doing so. He did not show up anyhow. Also, because vestiges of sanity were to be seen in the norte americano gringo academics, the show was not reinvited for the following year.

    Point: communism and its pimping little sister, liberalism must be allowed to fail all by themselves. A yanqui killing Castro would set the wrong tone. Chavez fails, Castros fail, and all the little Fidelistas fail, and so on.

    That is the historically more convincing path. Of course, die-hard commies just have to die off, like those that get onto UR. That is the way it is.

    Joe Webb

    “Point: communism and its pimping little sister, liberalism must be allowed to fail all by themselves. A yanqui killing Castro would set the wrong tone. Chavez fails, Castros fail, and all the little Fidelistas fail, and so on.

    That is the historically more convincing path. Of course, die-hard commies just have to die off, like those that get onto UR. That is the way it is.”

    I would have been inclined to agree with you, but I notice that the Soviet Union disappeared in 1991 and currently a number of young Americans are apparently in love with socialism. I was born near the tail end of WWII and grew up during the Cold War, but I can honestly say that I never ever flirted with socialism or communism even as a teenager. The current infatuation with socialism despite its sorry historical record has me completely baffled. That is a sad commentary on our present educational system and a sad commentary on young people, who don’t especially impress me with their intellectual qualities.

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  • @Carlton Meyer
    I agree that we should have taken out Castro. Not to preserve the wealthy Cuban landlord's grip on power, but because we wouldn't have to see Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz speaking today.

    But I'm only joking because invading Cuba would have resulted in a nuclear exchange in which millions of American would have died in one day. That is a fact!

    Rather than read all the details from this article, watch McNamara's description of the Cuban missile crisis in the great, great documentary "Fog of War."

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZVR-DKERhc

    The above poster wasn’t talking about invading Cuba in the middle of the crisis, but before Castro took control. There wouldn’t have been any number nuclear exchange in that situation, and there’s plenty of precedent.

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  • @Rehmat
    The American Conservative being a member of Israel Hasbara Committee , is as much a Zionist propaganda filth as the Wikipedia.

    “The American Conservative being a member of Israel Hasbara Committee , is as much a Zionist propaganda filth as the Wikipedia.”

    Pat Buchanan and Taki Theodoracopulos, two of the three founders of TAC, will be somewhat startled to hear that.

    BTW what was it about my prior message, which merely quoted a few messages I had posted years ago on TAC, that prompted your outburst against Israelis and Zionists? Did they have something to do with the Cuban missile crisis of 1962 that I wasn’t aware of?

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    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    The Rehmat consortium contrives effortlessly to simulate the screaming denizen of Bedlam.
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  • haah, no matter what we said about the fat boy in north korea, he isn’t stupid. especially after gadafi.

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  • @Epaminondas
    The greatest strategic blunder the US ever made was allowing Castro to consolidate his regime. He could have been easily toppled had the US military been given the go-ahead to remove him. Easily.

    tempting proposal but….I was in Cuba in 2000 for a leftie conference. I only went to enjoy watching my few friends squirm, and squirm they did with especially the brown ladies telling us how civil society was the seedbed of capitalism and that therefore it had to be heavily policed.

    I also wanted to see stalinism lite before it faded away. And I did, walking all over Havana and talking to folks, and one trip into the countryside. I wrote it up but no left journal would accept it. Strange.

    I thought about murdering Castro if he showed up at the conference. But rationality and actually not much fear kept me from doing so. He did not show up anyhow. Also, because vestiges of sanity were to be seen in the norte americano gringo academics, the show was not reinvited for the following year.

    Point: communism and its pimping little sister, liberalism must be allowed to fail all by themselves. A yanqui killing Castro would set the wrong tone. Chavez fails, Castros fail, and all the little Fidelistas fail, and so on.

    That is the historically more convincing path. Of course, die-hard commies just have to die off, like those that get onto UR. That is the way it is.

    Joe Webb

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    • Replies: @tbraton
    "Point: communism and its pimping little sister, liberalism must be allowed to fail all by themselves. A yanqui killing Castro would set the wrong tone. Chavez fails, Castros fail, and all the little Fidelistas fail, and so on.

    That is the historically more convincing path. Of course, die-hard commies just have to die off, like those that get onto UR. That is the way it is."

    I would have been inclined to agree with you, but I notice that the Soviet Union disappeared in 1991 and currently a number of young Americans are apparently in love with socialism. I was born near the tail end of WWII and grew up during the Cold War, but I can honestly say that I never ever flirted with socialism or communism even as a teenager. The current infatuation with socialism despite its sorry historical record has me completely baffled. That is a sad commentary on our present educational system and a sad commentary on young people, who don't especially impress me with their intellectual qualities.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Epaminondas
    The greatest strategic blunder the US ever made was allowing Castro to consolidate his regime. He could have been easily toppled had the US military been given the go-ahead to remove him. Easily.

    I agree that we should have taken out Castro. Not to preserve the wealthy Cuban landlord’s grip on power, but because we wouldn’t have to see Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz speaking today.

    But I’m only joking because invading Cuba would have resulted in a nuclear exchange in which millions of American would have died in one day. That is a fact!

    Rather than read all the details from this article, watch McNamara’s description of the Cuban missile crisis in the great, great documentary “Fog of War.”

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    • Replies: @guest
    The above poster wasn't talking about invading Cuba in the middle of the crisis, but before Castro took control. There wouldn't have been any number nuclear exchange in that situation, and there's plenty of precedent.
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  • @Connecticut Famer
    I believe it IS Comrade Mikoyan.

    It is definitely Anastas Ivanovich Mikoyan. If the author cannot get a simple fact like this correctly why should I believe the rest of the story which is not even facts but hearsay, assumptions, speculations, gossip, and all sorts of canards.

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  • @tbraton
    The memory lapse by JFK re our missiles in Turkey made me chuckle, for he, among others in the Senate, was partially responsible for the fact that our missiles were in Turkey in the first place. As I posted on TAC about 4-5 years ago:

    "tbraton says:
    October 14, 2011 at 12:34 pm
    “I clicked on the “nuclear weapons make you moderate” link; always ready to hear some good news! Unfortunately, the quote I read there was a joke. It was probably true as far as it goes (the USSR got more moderate after Stalin, etc.), but if moderation includes things like the Cuban missile crisis, then God save us all from a moderate nuclear-armed Iran.”

    According to Richard Reeves’ “President Kennedy: Profile” (1993): “The Premier [Khruschev] specifically mentioned U.S. Jupiter missiles in Turkey, lined up along the Soviet border. President Eisenhower had ordered them put there in 1959, partly to draw Turkey into NATO planning and partly to quiet Democrats like Senator Kennedy who were demanding the United States do something to neutralize big Soviet ICBMs. An intermediate-range missile on the border was essentially a strategic weapon, capable of reaching as deep into Soviet Union as an ICBM in North Dakota and able to get to the target a lot quicker. Eisenhower had been surprised that the Soviets did not react more vehemently to U.S. missile installations in Turkey and Italy. In JUne 1959, Ike had said privately that putting the Jupiters in Turkey was like the Soviet Union putting intermediate range missiles in Cuba or Mexico. He said, privately again, that for once Khruschev was absolutely right in accusing the United States of provocation, that if Soviets had done something like that , the United States would have had to take military action.” (pp.350-51)

    As part of the deal resolving the Cuban Missile Crisis, the U.S. agreed to withdraw the Jupiter missiles from Turkey and quietly did so several months later." http://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/the-alleged-iranian-plot/comment-page-1/#comment-245802

    I followed up with another post as follows:

    "tbraton says:
    October 15, 2011 at 7:59 am
    There is a piece on the Cuban Missile Crisis by Prof. Ernest May on Real Clear History which contains the following reference to our Jupiter missiles in Turkey, which were placed on the border of the USSR three years before Soviet missiles were placed in Cuba:

    Finessing the Turkish missiles issue
    On 26-27 October, the crisis came to a head. Khrushchev cabled Kennedy that he was prepared to remove missiles from Cuba in return for a US promise not to invade Cuba – a promise that had already been given more than once. But, just as Kennedy and his ExComm began to discuss a response, Khrushchev broadcast from Moscow a second message saying the missiles would be removed if, in addition, the United States withdrew nuclear missiles and other ‘offensive means’ from Turkey.

    The second Khrushchev message provoked furious debate. With Ball in the lead, Kennedy’s advisers said almost unanimously that Khrushchev’s new condition was unacceptable. America’s NATO allies would think the United States was sacrificing their security for the sake of its own. Kennedy alone seemed unconvinced. When Ball said, ‘If we talked to the Turks… this would be an extremely unsettling business’, Kennedy replied with asperity, ‘Well, this is unsettling now, George, because … most people would regard this as not an unreasonable proposal … I think you’re going to have it very difficult to explain why we are going to take hostile military action in Cuba … when he’s saying, “If you’ll get yours out of Turkey, we’ll get ours out of Cuba.”‘.

    What Kennedy wanted was to mollify Khrushchev without seeming to make a concession, and above all to avoid any prolonged negotiations.

    In the end, Kennedy found a way to finesse the situation. He sent Robert Kennedy to see the Soviet ambassador, Anatoly Dobrynin, to tell him that the missiles in Turkey were obsolete, and that the US planned to pull them out within about six months. All this was true. He said further, however, that, if the Soviet Union used this knowledge to claim that the US had struck the deal proposed in Khrushchev’s radio message, Kennedy would deny the claim and would not remove the missiles from Turkey. What Kennedy wanted was to mollify Khrushchev without seeming to make a concession, and above all to avoid any prolonged negotiations. He had to insist that Soviet missiles come out of Cuba unconditionally, or he would compromise the display of firmness that he judged necessary to protect against a Berlin crisis.

    In fact, the exchange between Robert Kennedy and Dobrynin had no effect. Khrushchev had already decided to retreat to a simple request for a no invasion pledge. And the crisis ended on that basis. US reconnaissance aircraft kept watch while the Soviets dismantled their missiles and loaded the parts on ships for return to the Soviet Union. http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/

    Of course, in order to “save face” for the U.S. or to burnish JFK’s reputation, it was never openly acknowledged either that we had pledged not to invade Cuba or that we had promised to remove the Jupiter missiles from Turkey." http://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/the-alleged-iranian-plot/comment-page-1/#comment-245806

    The American Conservative being a member of Israel Hasbara Committee , is as much a Zionist propaganda filth as the Wikipedia.

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    • Replies: @tbraton
    "The American Conservative being a member of Israel Hasbara Committee , is as much a Zionist propaganda filth as the Wikipedia."

    Pat Buchanan and Taki Theodoracopulos, two of the three founders of TAC, will be somewhat startled to hear that.

    BTW what was it about my prior message, which merely quoted a few messages I had posted years ago on TAC, that prompted your outburst against Israelis and Zionists? Did they have something to do with the Cuban missile crisis of 1962 that I wasn't aware of?
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  • The greatest strategic blunder the US ever made was allowing Castro to consolidate his regime. He could have been easily toppled had the US military been given the go-ahead to remove him. Easily.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Carlton Meyer
    I agree that we should have taken out Castro. Not to preserve the wealthy Cuban landlord's grip on power, but because we wouldn't have to see Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz speaking today.

    But I'm only joking because invading Cuba would have resulted in a nuclear exchange in which millions of American would have died in one day. That is a fact!

    Rather than read all the details from this article, watch McNamara's description of the Cuban missile crisis in the great, great documentary "Fog of War."

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZVR-DKERhc
    , @joe webb
    tempting proposal but....I was in Cuba in 2000 for a leftie conference. I only went to enjoy watching my few friends squirm, and squirm they did with especially the brown ladies telling us how civil society was the seedbed of capitalism and that therefore it had to be heavily policed.

    I also wanted to see stalinism lite before it faded away. And I did, walking all over Havana and talking to folks, and one trip into the countryside. I wrote it up but no left journal would accept it. Strange.

    I thought about murdering Castro if he showed up at the conference. But rationality and actually not much fear kept me from doing so. He did not show up anyhow. Also, because vestiges of sanity were to be seen in the norte americano gringo academics, the show was not reinvited for the following year.

    Point: communism and its pimping little sister, liberalism must be allowed to fail all by themselves. A yanqui killing Castro would set the wrong tone. Chavez fails, Castros fail, and all the little Fidelistas fail, and so on.

    That is the historically more convincing path. Of course, die-hard commies just have to die off, like those that get onto UR. That is the way it is.

    Joe Webb
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Meansheimer says much the same and he advised Ukraine to have nukes , but they preferred to rely on security guarantees from the West and … Russia.

    The Russians were alarmed (Khrushchev was terrified) at the prospect of Germany being allowed to have some control over NATO nuclear weapons, and maybe full German ones. Khrushchev privately talked about how Germans with nukes would be sending tanks blitzing for Moscow. That was what Cuba was all about. And the Germans stayed unnuked, so it worked. No Soviet leader was ever going to fight over Cuba. JFK’s rash bravado and tendency to get caught napping was clear to anyone who looked at his WW2 career.

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  • I think Obama won his Nobel prize for no reason other than that he was their sort of people and they though it’d be good publicity. Him being their sort of people probably has little to do with nuclear weapons policy specifically, except that his sort of people are the sort of people would that believe that sort of thing.

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  • speculation…I seem to recall Shirley space-traveler MacLaine, the actress, planting a big kiss on Khruchev’s pate at some function. She may have saved us.

    Castro wanted to nuke us. It will probably eventuate that the Castro bros are from a converso background.

    Joe Webb

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    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    "converso background"?

    So the suggestion is that the fanaticism of the convert - in this case to Christianity - followed by perhaps the topping up of that fanaticism by conversion to Marxism produced a dangerous Latin American phenomenon - maybe like the feral Jesuits and other lefties that got Popes so worried????
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  • your “. I think everybody would behave better if their neighbors had nukes.” reminds me of Huntingtons’ remark that the middle east Arabs ought to have nukes, or that at least one country should have them to ‘balance ‘ Israel, etc.

    While initially sympathetic to that view, I have changed. Israel at least is contained by the US.
    I assume we have attack subs following her nuke subs, etc. Israel could find itself reduced by about 7 million people, and its capital moved to New York City. Many on this list probably disagree.

    Jews are bad enough, but Arabs? Iranians? Puhlese. Let Russia provide some defense for the Arabs…no nukes for those crazy people with low IQ and high volatility.

    Maybe the writer should learn his abcs….one kiloton equals a thousand tons of TNT, (as I recall )..a pretty big boom, plus radiation. A megaton has a thousand thousand tons of TNT equivalent.
    I recall that the People’s Paradise set off a 50 megaton beauty.

    Get a grip. JOE Webb

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  • @Fletcher the Dog
    That supposed picture of General Pliyev with Castro - I don't know, the guy on the left in the suit looks an awful lot like Anastas Mikoyan...

    I believe it IS Comrade Mikoyan.

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    • Replies: @Regnum Nostrum
    It is definitely Anastas Ivanovich Mikoyan. If the author cannot get a simple fact like this correctly why should I believe the rest of the story which is not even facts but hearsay, assumptions, speculations, gossip, and all sorts of canards.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • The memory lapse by JFK re our missiles in Turkey made me chuckle, for he, among others in the Senate, was partially responsible for the fact that our missiles were in Turkey in the first place. As I posted on TAC about 4-5 years ago:

    “tbraton says:
    October 14, 2011 at 12:34 pm
    “I clicked on the “nuclear weapons make you moderate” link; always ready to hear some good news! Unfortunately, the quote I read there was a joke. It was probably true as far as it goes (the USSR got more moderate after Stalin, etc.), but if moderation includes things like the Cuban missile crisis, then God save us all from a moderate nuclear-armed Iran.”

    According to Richard Reeves’ “President Kennedy: Profile” (1993): “The Premier [Khruschev] specifically mentioned U.S. Jupiter missiles in Turkey, lined up along the Soviet border. President Eisenhower had ordered them put there in 1959, partly to draw Turkey into NATO planning and partly to quiet Democrats like Senator Kennedy who were demanding the United States do something to neutralize big Soviet ICBMs. An intermediate-range missile on the border was essentially a strategic weapon, capable of reaching as deep into Soviet Union as an ICBM in North Dakota and able to get to the target a lot quicker. Eisenhower had been surprised that the Soviets did not react more vehemently to U.S. missile installations in Turkey and Italy. In JUne 1959, Ike had said privately that putting the Jupiters in Turkey was like the Soviet Union putting intermediate range missiles in Cuba or Mexico. He said, privately again, that for once Khruschev was absolutely right in accusing the United States of provocation, that if Soviets had done something like that , the United States would have had to take military action.” (pp.350-51)

    As part of the deal resolving the Cuban Missile Crisis, the U.S. agreed to withdraw the Jupiter missiles from Turkey and quietly did so several months later.” http://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/the-alleged-iranian-plot/comment-page-1/#comment-245802

    I followed up with another post as follows:

    “tbraton says:
    October 15, 2011 at 7:59 am
    There is a piece on the Cuban Missile Crisis by Prof. Ernest May on Real Clear History which contains the following reference to our Jupiter missiles in Turkey, which were placed on the border of the USSR three years before Soviet missiles were placed in Cuba:

    Finessing the Turkish missiles issue
    On 26-27 October, the crisis came to a head. Khrushchev cabled Kennedy that he was prepared to remove missiles from Cuba in return for a US promise not to invade Cuba – a promise that had already been given more than once. But, just as Kennedy and his ExComm began to discuss a response, Khrushchev broadcast from Moscow a second message saying the missiles would be removed if, in addition, the United States withdrew nuclear missiles and other ‘offensive means’ from Turkey.

    The second Khrushchev message provoked furious debate. With Ball in the lead, Kennedy’s advisers said almost unanimously that Khrushchev’s new condition was unacceptable. America’s NATO allies would think the United States was sacrificing their security for the sake of its own. Kennedy alone seemed unconvinced. When Ball said, ‘If we talked to the Turks… this would be an extremely unsettling business’, Kennedy replied with asperity, ‘Well, this is unsettling now, George, because … most people would regard this as not an unreasonable proposal … I think you’re going to have it very difficult to explain why we are going to take hostile military action in Cuba … when he’s saying, “If you’ll get yours out of Turkey, we’ll get ours out of Cuba.”‘.

    What Kennedy wanted was to mollify Khrushchev without seeming to make a concession, and above all to avoid any prolonged negotiations.

    In the end, Kennedy found a way to finesse the situation. He sent Robert Kennedy to see the Soviet ambassador, Anatoly Dobrynin, to tell him that the missiles in Turkey were obsolete, and that the US planned to pull them out within about six months. All this was true. He said further, however, that, if the Soviet Union used this knowledge to claim that the US had struck the deal proposed in Khrushchev’s radio message, Kennedy would deny the claim and would not remove the missiles from Turkey. What Kennedy wanted was to mollify Khrushchev without seeming to make a concession, and above all to avoid any prolonged negotiations. He had to insist that Soviet missiles come out of Cuba unconditionally, or he would compromise the display of firmness that he judged necessary to protect against a Berlin crisis.

    In fact, the exchange between Robert Kennedy and Dobrynin had no effect. Khrushchev had already decided to retreat to a simple request for a no invasion pledge. And the crisis ended on that basis. US reconnaissance aircraft kept watch while the Soviets dismantled their missiles and loaded the parts on ships for return to the Soviet Union. http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/

    Of course, in order to “save face” for the U.S. or to burnish JFK’s reputation, it was never openly acknowledged either that we had pledged not to invade Cuba or that we had promised to remove the Jupiter missiles from Turkey.” http://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/the-alleged-iranian-plot/comment-page-1/#comment-245806

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    • Replies: @Rehmat
    The American Conservative being a member of Israel Hasbara Committee , is as much a Zionist propaganda filth as the Wikipedia.
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  • I grew up in an air force R & D center during the cold war. Despite opinions lauding the superiority of northern Europeans of good Aryan type compared to sub-Saharan Africans, a comparison of MIRVed nukes with sharpened sticks indicates a fugue of complex stupidity which most hunter-gatherers would consign to the refuse midden. Being smarter than road kill possums is no proof of useful intelligence.

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  • Looking at the cavalcade of instability in places like Chile, Argentina, Colombia, Honduras, and Guatemala engendered by the successful US rollback of socialism after Khrushchev bugged out, Latin America would certainly have been different if Cuba had nukes…and maybe not worse off.

    Oh yeah Peter Lee (author), Latin America would possibly be so much better off. Venezuela is a great example of how much better off a country is under communism. How ignorant can you be?

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  • @Fletcher the Dog
    That supposed picture of General Pliyev with Castro - I don't know, the guy on the left in the suit looks an awful lot like Anastas Mikoyan...

    The saying (joke) about Anastas Mikoyan
    (whose last name I typed with a typo in my previous comment) was
    От Ильича до Ильича — без инфаркта и паралича.
    Lengthy translation of the phrase, explaining his long political life, more than 40 years:

    Starting from Vladimir Il’ich Lenin (died in 1924)
    and ending with Leonid Il’ich Brezhnev (came to power in 1964),
    Mikoyan was active and suffered neither heart attack, nor paralysis.

    Play of words: both Lenin and Brezhnev had the same patronymic:
    Il’ich , which sometimes was used to affectionately denote Lenin.

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  • @Fletcher the Dog
    That supposed picture of General Pliyev with Castro - I don't know, the guy on the left in the suit looks an awful lot like Anastas Mikoyan...

    Anastas Ivanovich Mikolyan — that also was my first impression.
    The single medal of gold star of the Hero of Socialist Labor has much more pronounced volume character, as seen on the photograph, in comparison with rather flat military star of the Hero of Soviet Union, owned by Pliev.
    From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anastas_Mikoyan :

    In early November 1962, at the height of Cuban Missile Crisis, the Soviet leadership dispatched Mikoyan to Havana to help persuade Castro to cooperate in the removal of the nuclear missiles and bombers the Soviet Union had placed on the island.[39][40] Just prior to beginning negotiations with Castro, Mikoyan was informed about the death of his wife, Ashkhen, in Moscow; rather than return there for the funeral, Mikoyan opted to stay and sent his son Sergo there instead.

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  • @Fletcher the Dog
    That supposed picture of General Pliyev with Castro - I don't know, the guy on the left in the suit looks an awful lot like Anastas Mikoyan...

    Pliev was an Ossetian.

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  • That supposed picture of General Pliyev with Castro – I don’t know, the guy on the left in the suit looks an awful lot like Anastas Mikoyan…

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    • Replies: @5371
    Pliev was an Ossetian.
    , @Immigrant from former USSR
    Anastas Ivanovich Mikolyan --- that also was my first impression.
    The single medal of gold star of the Hero of Socialist Labor has much more pronounced volume character, as seen on the photograph, in comparison with rather flat military star of the Hero of Soviet Union, owned by Pliev.
    From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anastas_Mikoyan :

    In early November 1962, at the height of Cuban Missile Crisis, the Soviet leadership dispatched Mikoyan to Havana to help persuade Castro to cooperate in the removal of the nuclear missiles and bombers the Soviet Union had placed on the island.[39][40] Just prior to beginning negotiations with Castro, Mikoyan was informed about the death of his wife, Ashkhen, in Moscow; rather than return there for the funeral, Mikoyan opted to stay and sent his son Sergo there instead.
     
    , @Immigrant from former USSR
    The saying (joke) about Anastas Mikoyan
    (whose last name I typed with a typo in my previous comment) was
    От Ильича до Ильича — без инфаркта и паралича.
    Lengthy translation of the phrase, explaining his long political life, more than 40 years:

    Starting from Vladimir Il'ich Lenin (died in 1924)
    and ending with Leonid Il'ich Brezhnev (came to power in 1964),
    Mikoyan was active and suffered neither heart attack, nor paralysis.

    Play of words: both Lenin and Brezhnev had the same patronymic:
    Il'ich , which sometimes was used to affectionately denote Lenin.

    , @Connecticut Famer
    I believe it IS Comrade Mikoyan.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • “The Nuclear Security Summit in Washington is reminds us that President Obama won his Nobel Peace Prize in large part because of his stated intentions concerning nuclear non-proliferation.”

    But, but ……. Peter Lee, Obama won his ‘Peace Medal’ within seven months of his presidency for shielding Israel’s nuclear arsenal.

    The Nuclear Security Summit is a JOKE created by the world nuclear powers that has misused the NPT the most.

    Like the previous 3rd Summit, the targets were Pakistan, N. Korea and the non-existential Iranian nuclear research.

    On January 14, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) issued its latest report, entitled Pakistan’s Nuclear Weapons, warning the world how dangerous it’s for a Muslim country to have 110-130 nuclear bombs. The report was prepared by two CRS Jewish ” NPT experts”, Paul K. Kerr and Mary Beth Nikitin. Their 2014 report on Iran-N. Korea-Syria Ballistic Missile and Nuclear Cooperation was published at Daily Alert, a propaganda out of Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.

    “Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal is widely regarded as designed to dissuade India from taking military action against Pakistan. But Islamabad’s expansion of its nuclear arsenal, development of new types of nuclear weapons, and adoption of a doctrine called “full spectrum deterrence” have led some observers to express concern about an increased risk of nuclear conflict between Pakistan and India which also continues to expand its nuclear arsenal,” says the report.

    “Pakistan has in recent years taken a number of steps to increase international confidence in security of its nuclear arsenal. However, instability in Pakistan has called the extent and durability of these reforms into question. Some observers fear radical takeover of the Pakistan government or diversion of material or technology by personnel within Pakistan’s nuclear complex,” the report added.

    https://rehmat1.com/2016/01/25/pakistans-nukes-scare-jewish-lobby/

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    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    Pakistan is so dangerous and unstable that its government
    1. Can't make visiting sporting teams safe enough for cricket Test matches and other sporting events to be held there;
    2. Can't stop hundreds of children - even children of military personnel - being slaughtered by Taliban;
    3. Is powerless to prevent murder of a civilised provincial governor - and its widespread celebration - because he uttered a few humane and reasonable words in favour of a Christian woman accused of blasphemy...

    So do you think it is a good thing Pakistan has nuclear weapons? If so why?

    What would be the consequence for Pakistan if it didn't have nuclear weapons?

    Is the worst case scenario some extension of Indian control over Kashmir (and if so why wasn't that achieved before Pakistan had nuclear weapons?)?
    And why would that matter enough to justify Pakistan spending scarce resources on, and even going to war with, nuclear weapons?
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  • Long ago in Havana, my mother and father would take me to the famed “Floridita” bar to join a burly, white-bearded man and drink daiquiris. He gave me his book, “A Farewell to Arms,” autographed to “Eric, from his friend Ernest Hemingway. Havana, 1953” Those were the old days in Cuba, even before Fidel Castro....
  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    The communist government of Cuba restored its iron-fisted control over pro-democracy activists last weekend, following mass arrests a week ago on the Sunday before President Barack Obama landed in Havana. An estimated 300 dissidents were beaten and arrested nationwide.

    Miami’s El Nuevo Herald cites dissidents on the group as confirming that more than 100 of their peers were arrested in Havana. “They ripped their clothes in the middle of the street, leaving many of them nude in public,” one witness recalled. Some were “beaten with washing machine belts and flag poles.” At least one Ladies in White member suffered a broken arm from being whipped with a washing machine belt.

    http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2016/03/30/more-than-300-cuban-dissidents-arrested-in-weekend-following-obamas-visit/

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  • […] Viva Cuba Libre!  by Eric Margolis […]

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  • Just to top off the take over of Cuba–Rolling Stones are planning to give a big concert–free to 500,000 Cuban attendance. Sheldon can not wait-to re establish his casinos.

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  • @anony-mouse
    Even with all these accolades for Castro's government not a single comment originating in Cuba. Imagine that.

    ‘El Barbo’ himself commented on the recent visit.

    http://news.yahoo.com/cubas-fidel-castro-slams-obama-following-historic-visit-150321958.html

    While many Cubans look forward to better times, and cheap paint. I don’t think there are a lot of them who would sell Cuba to the highest bidder. Even if it’s only a semblance, ordinary Cubans to-day feel that Cuba belongs to them – not to the ‘oligarchic families’ and certainly not to the USA.

    I hope they’re smart enough to maintain their relationship with the EU and other nations and not put all their eggs back in Uncle Sammy’s basket – and steer clear of the ‘helpers’ at the IMF.

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  • If you think the Castros “genuinely cared for” the Cubans, look up Punto Cero.

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  • @anony-mouse
    Even with all these accolades for Castro's government not a single comment originating in Cuba. Imagine that.

    Obviously they don’t sink as much money into paid internet propaganda as Tel Aviv does. But then Tel Aviv is eating high on the hog thanks to that steady stream of welfare Uncle Sucker ships there.

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  • Even with all these accolades for Castro’s government not a single comment originating in Cuba. Imagine that.

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    • Replies: @Chris Mallory
    Obviously they don't sink as much money into paid internet propaganda as Tel Aviv does. But then Tel Aviv is eating high on the hog thanks to that steady stream of welfare Uncle Sucker ships there.
    , @BaldurDasche
    'El Barbo' himself commented on the recent visit.

    http://news.yahoo.com/cubas-fidel-castro-slams-obama-following-historic-visit-150321958.html

    While many Cubans look forward to better times, and cheap paint. I don't think there are a lot of them who would sell Cuba to the highest bidder. Even if it's only a semblance, ordinary Cubans to-day feel that Cuba belongs to them - not to the 'oligarchic families' and certainly not to the USA.

    I hope they're smart enough to maintain their relationship with the EU and other nations and not put all their eggs back in Uncle Sammy's basket - and steer clear of the 'helpers' at the IMF.

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  • Cuba, like so many countries, is forced to maintain a degree of authoritarianism to protect itself from relentless US attempts to subvert any political freedom they would like their people to have.

    In large part, countries are authoritarian either because they must be to resist constant US subversion (ex. Cuba, Venezuela, Iran, Russia, China, etc.) or because they already have a US-backed regime that repressively controls its population for the US (ex. Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iran during the Shah, Chile during Pinochet, eastern Ukraine, etc.)

    When people vote for a government that does not do what the US wants, it gets subverted and overthrown (Ukraine, Honduras, Egypt, Iran, Chile, etc. 57 times in 47 countries over the past 71 years.) If subversion, coup, and assassination attempts fail, the US imposes indiscriminate collective punishment on the entire population through crippling sanctions (like the ones that killed an estimated half a million children in Iraq between 1990-1996 alone, which US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said was “worth it”.)

    The country that harms real democracy and political freedom the most, by subverting political freedoms while proclaiming loudly to support them, is the US.

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  • The time has long since come for America and Cuba to bury the hatchet. Trade and travel should be promoted.

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  • Last week we saw an encouraging sign that the 50 year cold war between the US and Cuba was finally coming to an end. President Obama announced on Wednesday that the US and Cuba would restore full diplomatic relations and that embassies could be re-opened in each country by the end of the month. For...
  • The most likely outcome of normalising relations – especially under a Democratic administration – is that the US once again starts sending aid to an evil, broken, and ultimately doomed regime, claiming it is the lesser of two evils.

    By all means remove the embargo, which only allows the left to claim that it is the US and not Cuba’s economic system that has produced Cuba’s poverty. But do it unilaterally, neither giving nor asking anything else.

    Communist Cuba is dying. Let it die.

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  • In my previous post, I noted that the oft-mentioned association between obesity and poor health and "early" death may be a function of the lower average IQ of obese people. I suggested that the true correlate of these things was in fact low IQ. And indeed, I've stumbled on additional studies that suggests that this...
  • […] Health and body weight follow similar patterns (high heritability, zero shared environment). See my page Obesity Facts for more, or my post IQ and Death. […]

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  • It’s taken over half a century for the US to finally figure out how to neutralize pesky Communist Cuba. Invasions, air raids, crushing sanctions, attempts to murder the Castro leadership by exploding cigars and poisons, diplomatic isolation, poisoning crops – all failed. Now, the lame duck Obama administration has finally figured out how to put...
  • @Joe Webb
    "quaint prudery" . When I visited Cuba in the year 2000 (remember Elian?) the whores were everywhere. One, accompanied by her boyfriend/pimp grabbed my crotch.

    I built my own house, as with my own hands, and know residential contruction. I watched a construction site in Havana where 3 workers were patching the ceiling with a cement mixture, following initial construction in concrete.
    One was on a step ladder troweling the cement mixture onto the ceiling. One was at the wheelbarrow mixing the stuff, and one was scooping up the stuff as it fell from the ceiling. About one-half of the mixture stuck while the other half slowly detached itself and plopped to the floor, where it gathered dirt, was shoveled back into the wheelbarrow, only to be further rendered unstick able

    I watched another construction site where about 4 workers idled and occasionally worked. I could have done the work that these guys did and still have taken a couple of breaks.

    The People's Paradise old joke: we pretend to work and they pretend to pay us.

    I was down there to attend a "Marxist social science " conference. The only reason I went down was to meet old friends, and see Stalinismo-lite. By then I was no longer anywhere near the Left. I observed the dismay of attendees, White guys from places like Minnesota mostly. The chiquita communist Cuban speakers went on and on. One memorable bit: "The Party controls civil society because that is where capitalism takes root." I am not making this up.

    One N. American notable marxist exclaimed, " I never thought I would ever call myself a Utopian Socialist, but after this..." The marxist group was disinvited for the following year. I of course chuckled at this crash course in Reality given to PhDs gliding thru their airy fantasies and struck down by Cuba Si!..... Yanquis in Paradise.

    I remember in 1960 or so when we leftish folks complained about Cubans denied access to their own beaches and the prostitution of Cuba under the hated Batista (a mulatto by the way.) Same thing then in 2000, the Cubans kept out of the beaches of the tourist hotels.

    Rose colored glasses Margolis wears permanently. I wrote this whole experience up a few years ago, and Margolis might want to read it, but no...he won't.

    Any way I could get in on the Malecon sweepstakes when the golfers descend on Havana? Golfers are Very Bad Human Beings, especially when blond of hair and blue of eye, like me.

    Joe Webb

    The piece you wrote concerning your experiences in Cuba, is it on the Web somewhere? I’d really like to read it.

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  • “quaint prudery” . When I visited Cuba in the year 2000 (remember Elian?) the whores were everywhere. One, accompanied by her boyfriend/pimp grabbed my crotch.

    I built my own house, as with my own hands, and know residential contruction. I watched a construction site in Havana where 3 workers were patching the ceiling with a cement mixture, following initial construction in concrete.
    One was on a step ladder troweling the cement mixture onto the ceiling. One was at the wheelbarrow mixing the stuff, and one was scooping up the stuff as it fell from the ceiling. About one-half of the mixture stuck while the other half slowly detached itself and plopped to the floor, where it gathered dirt, was shoveled back into the wheelbarrow, only to be further rendered unstick able

    I watched another construction site where about 4 workers idled and occasionally worked. I could have done the work that these guys did and still have taken a couple of breaks.

    The People’s Paradise old joke: we pretend to work and they pretend to pay us.

    I was down there to attend a “Marxist social science ” conference. The only reason I went down was to meet old friends, and see Stalinismo-lite. By then I was no longer anywhere near the Left. I observed the dismay of attendees, White guys from places like Minnesota mostly. The chiquita communist Cuban speakers went on and on. One memorable bit: “The Party controls civil society because that is where capitalism takes root.” I am not making this up.

    One N. American notable marxist exclaimed, ” I never thought I would ever call myself a Utopian Socialist, but after this…” The marxist group was disinvited for the following year. I of course chuckled at this crash course in Reality given to PhDs gliding thru their airy fantasies and struck down by Cuba Si!….. Yanquis in Paradise.

    I remember in 1960 or so when we leftish folks complained about Cubans denied access to their own beaches and the prostitution of Cuba under the hated Batista (a mulatto by the way.) Same thing then in 2000, the Cubans kept out of the beaches of the tourist hotels.

    Rose colored glasses Margolis wears permanently. I wrote this whole experience up a few years ago, and Margolis might want to read it, but no…he won’t.

    Any way I could get in on the Malecon sweepstakes when the golfers descend on Havana? Golfers are Very Bad Human Beings, especially when blond of hair and blue of eye, like me.

    Joe Webb

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    • Replies: @Haploid
    The piece you wrote concerning your experiences in Cuba, is it on the Web somewhere? I'd really like to read it.
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  • @Jefferson
    You know who is going to financially benefit from more American tourists vacationing in Cuba ? The Cuban prostitutes.

    You must mean “sex workers” (it’s a workers’ paradise, after all).

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  • You know who is going to financially benefit from more American tourists vacationing in Cuba ? The Cuban prostitutes.

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    • Replies: @Dutch Boy
    You must mean "sex workers" (it's a workers' paradise, after all).
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  • @Delmar Jackson
    My family has been in Miami since 1919. My heart does not weep for Havana. Every refugee pining for old Havana can take a nostalgic visit and go HOME. For Americans who grew up in Miami when a Cuban was a rarity, we can never go home, it was stolen from us by Uncle Sam and millions of refugees decades ago.
    You think Cuba faces a tsunami? So does what is left of south Florida as millions of Cubans come here to annex what was given away. I can think of a hundred worse immigrant groups to come here than Cubans, but I do not shed any tears for what they have lost or will lose. I know how wonderful Miami was before they came and know the sacrifices of the people that made Miami worth coming to.

    At some time in the future you could seed Florida being part of a Kingdom of the Two Cubas.

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  • Wally [AKA "BobbyBeGood"] says: • Website

    Another excuse for Margolis to tell us he’s from New York City. Current and ex-New Yorkers still think that’s a big deal and makes them important. Why I’ll never know. No roach motels for me.

    And so what if US tourists flock to Cuba, don’t Cubans deserve a chance at making a living? And from what I know Havana is a real dump and renovations are definitely in order.

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  • Cuba will go bAck to the Batista days.

    Like Vietnam where the boat people in Orange County had the last laugh.

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  • The worst thing that happened to Haiti that it didnot have a Cuba type revolution . The next worst thing worst has been the periodic showing up by Clinton after every natural and unnatural calamities on the island with some half naked undernourished potbellied babies in tow. Haiti’s living museum does not draw any tourist only gangs, looters,and neoliberalists.

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  • wow…..

    This character doesn’t give a shit about the people of Cuba, he just wants his personal museum undisturbed by crass Americans.

    What do the Cubans want Eric? What do the desperately poor Cubans want? Oh that’s right, you never bothered to consider what they want, this is all about your favorite tourist spot.

    Live desperately dirt poor for a couple years Eric like the poor Cubans and maybe some crass yankee dollars coming into your community won’t seem so ghastly. You have your head up your ass Margolis. You can’t see how desperately poor the Cubans are when everyone else can. You believe in nonsense, in your make believe world we can filter out whatever it is you don’t like and we can continue to live in the good old days for ever and ever.

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  • Cuba is a communist museum. At a great cost in suffering the Cuban people have willingly made their country a large living museum of a disastrous failed idea whose failure was clear by the end of the 1920s. Now it is ready to play a pedagogical role for anyone who wants to learn from its delapidation. We need Google Street View done on the entire island so that everyone can see how far it went down before the tourist influx pays for its partial rehabilitation.

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  • My family has been in Miami since 1919. My heart does not weep for Havana. Every refugee pining for old Havana can take a nostalgic visit and go HOME. For Americans who grew up in Miami when a Cuban was a rarity, we can never go home, it was stolen from us by Uncle Sam and millions of refugees decades ago.
    You think Cuba faces a tsunami? So does what is left of south Florida as millions of Cubans come here to annex what was given away. I can think of a hundred worse immigrant groups to come here than Cubans, but I do not shed any tears for what they have lost or will lose. I know how wonderful Miami was before they came and know the sacrifices of the people that made Miami worth coming to.

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    • Replies: @dearieme
    At some time in the future you could seed Florida being part of a Kingdom of the Two Cubas.
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  • President Barack Obama announced this week that the United States will reopen diplomatic relations with Cuba, thawing half a century of cold – and sometimes hot – war. The first time I visited Cuba was in the almost unbelievably remote years before “el Maximo Leader,” Fidel Castro. My parents and I went most evenings to...
  • ahem…”I.’ve always regarded Cubans as the aristocrats of the West Indies and their lovely island as its premier destination.”

    Well, Eric, Cuba has mountains and rivers and ocean, and I guess it qualifies as beautiful, but “aristocrats” is a stretch, particularly for a leftie like yourself to even utter…perish the thought, aristocrats.

    The Cubans that I met were nice enough and eager to complain about the “loco,” their favorite term for Fidel, bosses, but they were not aristocrats…I mean who are you talking about, Blacks? Browns?, Whites? The Whites I met , I confess , were whores standing in line for the local disco, which cost you about US ten dollars, a month’s wages then, but don’t forget to add in subsidized rent, etc. Of course, being relatively high-minded, I did not stoop to the 25 dollars they charged for their favors. I am not dissing them. We tend to look down on whores because we see them as victims. However, in Cuba, a whore making a couple months wages in one trick…are they victims? Nope. They are Winners.

    circa 1960 I remember I would defend Fidel against the bad man Batista, who happened to be a mulatto, and I would claim that Cubans could not even swim at their own beaches, and were forced into prostitution by Capitalism, Yanqui Capitialism. Well, under Castro…ummm, you know. When I was there the Cubanos were also banned from the beaches around the hotels, and even White girls were whores, but pretty classy. The brown girls were turned-out by their boy-friends. I had one brown couple proposition me…the girl even grabbing my crotch. That is not classy.

    So Aristocrats in Cuba….? If so, where are the peasants? in Haiti I guess.

    Joe Webb

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  • per Richard Lynn’s IQ and Global Inequality, Cuba does not appear…sorry, probably cuz of , you know, totalitarianism. I was in Cuba in 2000 and walked all over the place (havana). It is pretty brown, and black of course, with the two colors failing to merge despite the Best Humanitarian Efforts of Communists.

    I would guess that Cuba’s national IQ, a complex of White Spaniards like Fidel, etc, Blacks, and Browns who may be descendants of the Indians and early Whites who miscegenated (but no miscegenation now you can see plainly), is probably about 88 to 92. Haiti, for example shares with sub-Sahara Africa the same IQ average , 67.

    So now the ground shifts for Cuba. No longer is it Class. Since the classes remain the same, with the richer White folks living out in the westernmost neighborhood of Havana ( I forget its name, sorry…very nice, like southern California suburbs…the place where party people, and Artists live).

    So now Race Rears Its Hoary Head, that is, ancient and unchanging, at least as unchanging as Evolution permits, no Great Leaps Forward by fiat! here. Race will become the New Problem for Cuba. Not that it has not been the rock on which Sovietism was wrecked, but now it will be the 21st century’s great problem and the Do-Gooders will Demand that the US fund Programs for Uplift. USAID to the Rescue. This will provide Jobs for job-seekers, but nothing will change.

    Except that the Malecon will be revitalized as money rolls in. I wish I could pick up one of those decaying palaces along the northern shore for peanuts, but it will not be us Whites who get in on the bonanza, it will be Miami Cubanos….damn! Cuba Libre! And Yanquis will try to get in on it, but the Miami mafias will Discriminate against Whiteness. . Damn Again!

    Joe Webb

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  • Vi and I spent a couple of weeks in Cuba a few years back for The American Conservative. Nice place, good people, government a mixed bag mostly... Varadero, Cuba. Photo: FOE Staff Some things surpass all understanding. Why in the name of God and little catfish are we embargoing Cuba? The revolution occurred in 1959,...
  • Fred’s right to deplore the embargo and the generally crazy way we’ve allowed the Cuban exiles to control policy towards Cuba. Even so, Cuba’s poverty is due mostly to the thugs who run the place.

    Communists are probably the only people in the world more sick, twisted and just plain evil than Nazis.

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  • @anon
    The GOP has two years to distinguish itself from the Dems. If they fail legislatively and then nominate a rino like bush the tea party may split off. What will have to lose?

    Not a darn thing.

    It just beggars the imagination that Jeb could even remotely be considered a viable candidate. I say third party now and, if by some miracle the GOP becomes anything like a party willing to fight for the Constitution and free markets, I’ll reconsider but merely to articulate that in plain language is just to ridiculous. The GOP grow a spine? Ridiculous!

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